Tattoo aftercare is perhaps the most important part of getting a tattoo, after actually getting your tattoo that is! Tattoo aftercare can be very confusing to someone getting their first tattoo as there are numerous conflicting opinions as to what it actually entails. At Chronic Ink tattoo, located in Toronto & Vancouver, we tell you all of the possible forms of tattoo aftercare so that you can make an informed decision based on your tattoo and skin type.
The first step of tattoo aftercare
When you leave your tattoo artists shop in Toronto & Vancouver, he or she will likely have put some sort of bandage over the tattoo. This cover is the first and one of the most important steps of tattoo aftercare. It is there to protect your new tattoo from bacterial infection and it must be left on for a minimum of 1 hours. The larger the tattoo and the more colours involved, the longer you should keep the bandage on for. In some cases, such as when the tattoo is located on the upper body or when it has already stopped bleeding in the tattoo shop, your artist may opt to not cover it at all and jumpstart the healing process.
Ask your artist, before you leave, how long he recommends for your specific tattoo and resist the urge to take it off to show your friends!
Getting your tattoo wet
As a central tenant of tattoo aftercare, you should not get your tattoo wet until you take off the bandage, this should be followed by a thorough washing with lukewarm water and anti-bacterial soap, followed by drying with a clean towel. What kind of anti-bacterial soap? Follow this rule of thumb: if it’s designed for use on a baby, then it’s probably safe for your tattoo (unscented and low strength). The important part is to avoid putting pressure on your tattoo when you clean and dry it.
Over the next days and weeks, you can begin to increase the amount of water that your tattoo is exposed to, but that doesn’t mean you can go to the beach on Toronto & Vancouver island a day after your tattoo though! That means no visits to Toronto & Vancouver Island as well! There’s a fine line between showering too much and not showering enough when you first get your tattoo. If you don’t shower enough then you run the risk of getting it dirty, which could lead to infection. If you shower too much then you delay the healing process. We recommend showering quickly once a day and then avoiding any moisture for the rest of the day.
An important part of tattoo aftercare is protecting your tattoo from the sun, which should be maintained throughout the life of your tattoo. Powerful UV rays can and will fade the ink in your tattoo just as they fade the ink in your clothing.
Make sure that you always apply SPF 30 or higher sunscreen to your tattoo whenever it is exposed to direct and strong sunlight. This simple tip can help avoid fading for years if it is followed diligently.
There are a number of tattoo aftercare products on the market that make various claim to prolong your tattoos life. While many of them have been shown to work in some cases, the fact of the matter is that the effect of any product is dependent on your skin and your tattoo. Keeping these tips in mind when you’re thinking about complementing your tattoo aftercare with a product:
- Allergic reactions: Test your product on another part of your body to avoid an allergic reaction directly on your tattoo.
- Anti-bacterial soap: Make sure that you use unscented and undyed antibacterial soap to keep your tattoo clean and avoid additional pigmentation.
- Vitamins A and D: If you do decide on a lotion, make sure that it is rich in vitamins A and D to promote healing with your new tattoo.
The main goal of applying aftercare products should be to keep your tattoo moisturized, and if you’re getting your tattoo inked in Toronto & Vancouver then keep an eye out for tattoo goo for smaller tattoos, after inked for large tattoos and H2Ocean if you’re allergic to grape seed oil.
You should also avoid the following
- Crowded nightclubs and excessive drinking, this is a very common cause for infections for people who just got a tattoo.
- Do not scratch your tattoo, yes, it will be itchy but resist the urge!
- Do not let your pets touch your tattoo, this is another common source of infection.
- Do not go swimming in a pool for 1-2 weeks after you get your tattoo, the chlorine can damage a fresh tattoo.
The most important part of tattoo aftercare is making sure that you know all of the facts about the different kinds of treatments that are out there. At Chronic Ink Tattoo, we make tattoo aftercare education an integral part of our service, feel free to contact us to learn more about the different kinds of treatment available to you.